Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

St. Andrew’s presented the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols—with a Nativity tableau featuring our children and youth—on the fourth Sunday of Advent.

The Anglican tradition of performing the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols during the season of Advent dates back to 1880, when Edward White Benson (later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury) designed the service for use on Christmas Eve in Cornwall, England.

In 1918, King’s College in Cambridge, England, began performing the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols each year on Christmas Eve, and in the United States, the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, has been performing the festival annually since 1928. Performances of the Nine Lessons and Carols have become an Advent tradition throughout much of the Anglican Communion.

The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, and is interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.